Yambo Yarns at Belgrave Library

Yambo Yarns graphic

What is Yambo Yarns?

Yambo Yarns is a collaborative art project run by Emily Webbers and Andrea Innocent. This interactive artwork will feature on the exterior of the newly refurbished Belgrave Library building as well as online.
Our concept focuses heavily on oral storytelling, inspired by First nations traditions and Family Storytime at your local libraries.
The artwork features stylized animals and flora created by Emmy Webbers of Wurruck Yambo along with character design by Andrea Innocent, the main character being a koala character we have named ‘The Storyteller’ who happens to have very large ears (all the better to listen to you with) these characters inspire viewers to make a connection and prompt an interaction with the work in some way.
A series of workshops with local youth have brought forth some wonderful stories and these can be found here.
Andrea Innocent
Emily Webbers


When I was small, I had fairies living in my backyard.


They lived in the tall trees that loomed over my neighbour’s yard.

Only curious children like you could find them.

You see, the fairies lived in little houses carved from the branches and trunks of the trees. They’d hold parties, and carnivals, and magic shows.

Sometimes, if you were quiet, you could hear them singing as they polished the windchimes and glittering mobiles they hung in their branches.


All the while, the magical silvery leaves cloaked the fairies from dangers, like prying grown-up eyes.

After all, not every grown-up would understand.


So, when Mum told me to “Play outside!”

she didn’t have to tell me twice.


But one day, the neighbour called my parents. “Your trees are dropping branches in my garden!” he said. “And the shadow stops my plants from growing. They are dangerous! I ask you, please chop them down!”

                My Mum looked at Dad. My Dad looked at Mum. The neighbour was right.

                                “NO! It’s not fair!” I screamed, but it didn’t matter.

It HAD to be done.


So, the chainsaw roared to life – Vroooom vroooom!

And one, two, three they fell – Kabooom! Kabooom! Kabooooom!

                The silver leaves grew frail, and the fairies fluttered out. “We’ll find another home,” they said. “We’ll visit you again. When the new sprouts grow, we’ll come home, we promise you dear friend!”

                                They left, and I grew sadder with every passing day. Until the time I planted three new trees where the old ones lay.


Now I still have fairies living in my backyard.

                The new trees aren’t as big or tall, but their branches can be carved.

I say “hello” every time I pass by, and they flutter in the leaves. And I’ll often sit and listen to the faint singing from the branches, reminded of the times when I was small

                                And could join them in song, in company, and in encore!

One day I was going on a walk, and I found a comfy patch of green grass in the shade to rest and read. I lay down and just let go, the heavenly surroundings took me to my dreamland, and I relaxed into my book.

After countless hours of reading, I heard a rustle and looked around, but nothing was there… was my mind playing tricks on me? Maybe, so I continued to read. After 30 minutes of solid reading, I then heard a stick break! Something was moving closer! Confused and a little scared I decided it was getting late, so I went home.

The next day I came back to the same spot to find whatever that ‘thing’ was? 

After reading for about an hour I spotted something green behind a rock! Was it green grass? No. Was it moss? No. I went over there and to my surprise it was a little green Yowie! But I thought Yowies were just an Australian mythical creature? I moved closer to look, but when I stopped reading it disappeared. So, I sat down and read out loud to the Yowie and it came back – it seemed to love the sound of my reading. I continued to share my story and we sat together until it got late.

It was time to go home, so I gave my new friend my book, for its enjoyment. I hope it reads it and not eats it?! I’m glad I could share my love of reading.

Do you think I was dreaming?

A long, long time ago, when humans walked along side animals, there was no light in the world. It was a cycle of pitch black, and nothing more. The predators couldn’t hunt, and the prey couldn’t drink. Earth was a sad place.

One day, through tears a little koala began to tell a story. The words danced and glowed around little koala. After he finished his story, the words floated up and up until they were just a tiny speck of light in the darkness. Each night little koala told a new story. With all these story-stars, the world could finally open its eyes to see its own sheer beauty.

But it still wasn’t enough light to see your way to the waterhole. Little koala’s dad used to tell wonderful stories, but when little koala turned seven, his dad decided he was too old for stories. Little koala was too afraid to tell anyone about his secret stories, because he thought they would think it was too childish.

At eight years of age, even with all these stories, they was still not enough light to see your way the top of the gumtree. Finally on one cold evening, little koala summed up just enough courage to tell his best friend, iguana, about his secret. It finally made sense to iguana why it was much easier to see the billabong. Little koala told iguanas his best story yet. He had stored a special story for this very occasion. Not surprisingly, iguana loved it! Iguana said he too would tell a story each night. When little koala woke up the next day, he heard small exited voices, and little bits and pieces of a story that might need to be worked on, but was still good. Then he realised what had happened. Iguana had told the whole tribe about his story telling! He wanted to climb to the top of the gumtree, cry himself a billabong, and never come down, but a the little voice in his head stopped him. He looked out side of his window to see tiny animals staring up at him. Suddenly, one of them said ‘are you…Indeko Yarran?’ ‘why yes. Yes I am’. The next one begged for him to tell a story. Then the next one did to. Soon the all were begging for a story. He finally gave in.

It began by- ‘a long, long time ago, when humans walked along side animals..’. Once he had finished, the little animals were squealing with delight. Little koala felt not so little anymore. He said to them ‘why don’t you try? Its not that hard. You see that leaf? Put it in your story.’ Once all the animals were finished telling they stories, koala couldn’t believe his eyes! All the love and warmth put in to the stories had come together, and formed a giant hot ball of story-stars! No one had seen the hot stories being made, because they all had our eyes closed. This big ball rose up and up, until the whole world could see it! The earth was a beautiful place! After every day, the story ball word drift, and then the world would go dark and a new one would be made.

When you see a shooting star, make a wish and try to listen to the koala in the sky telling his story…

Yambo Yarns Jasman story image

Yambo Yarns Workshop #1

Yambo Yarns online workshop created during lockdown in 2021. This video demonstrates some fun ways to generate stories and spark your child’s imaginations using the  beautiful wooden animals created by Emmy Webbers as well as some fun and easy paper craft. The stories generated from this imaginative play are included here on the Yambo Yarns page. If you would like to add your own story please contact Emmy or Andrea at: [email protected]